Baywatch alumnus and contemporary pin-up Pamela Anderson teamed up this year with french designer Amélie Pichard for a capsule collection of ’90s-inspired, vegan footwear. The two found creative compatibility in their mutual passion for animal-rights activism, while Pichard specifically cites Anderson as one of her most influential, long-time muses.
The exclusive collaboration aims to dismantle any negative stigmas associated with vegan fashion by fusing Anderson’s signature bombshell sexuality with a diverse range of leather-free shoes. A perfect marriage of style and substance, 10 percent of all proceeds will go to the PETA-approved Pamela Anderson Foundation. We recently caught up with Anderson and Pichard to discuss process, fast fashion and inspiration.by Justin Moran
How did you two decide to join forces for this collaboration?
Amélie Pichard: “A friend of Pamela’s discovered me on Instagram, we met and he presented my work to Pamela—A 2015 modern-day Cinderella story. My work and universe spoke to her; what she represents inspired me and she understood that. Her fight for important animal causes has moved me for a long time. It was always an area I wanted to investigate more and work on creating fashion with a different way of thinking.”
Pamela Anderson: “We met through a mutual friend [and] business acquaintance Jeremy. He was showing me some of her collections, inspired by me. I love how playful she is. I’ve always wanted to do a fun vegan line of shoes and she was excited about the challenge. I funded the project; I also believe in promoting young artists and Amélie is an artist.”
What was the collaborative design process like?
AP: “It is a one hundred percent Amélie Pichard x Pamela Anderson collection, although Pamela has always been my inspiration. Now was good timing to propose a collection entirely around Pamela with a good cause behind it and also a big challenge for me, [creating] animal free sexy shoes.”
PA: “I think it is the perfect mix. Fun, sexy, bold. Amélie is very chic—a gorgeous sense of style. I’ve learned a lot from her. I love French women. [They are] everything I would like to be. It’s funny, it seems to be a mutual appreciation. I’m not a fashion designer, though some celebrities claim to be. It is an art; it’s so much hard work; it is a gift and a curse to be a real designer; it’s blood and tears. For me this is a labor of love. To have more vegan options for people is a dream. [Amélie] is incredibly full of ideas—very creative and good at business. She deserves all the praise. I love watching strong women.”
How do you feel this collection actively fights fast fashion?
AP: “My target is definitively to break down the fast fashion trend. My brand is a mix between artisanal and sexy, modern shoes. The girl who buys them know the quality is there, and she will wear my shoes with personality and confidence. For this vegan collection, we want to propose an introductory capsule collection—something very strong, easy-to-wear and for more than three months.”
What were some of the key inspirations for this collection?
AP: “I like playing with clichés, so for this collection I introduced a red metallic story, representing Pamela’s iconic red swimsuit [and] using some key words ‘Malibu,’ representing Baywatch and the city where Pamela lives. The [denim] theme is very ’90s and I saw lot of Pamela pictures in jeans; black because it’s the Parisian color; white because it’s [Pamela’s] favorite color and the Raffia embroidery is for her beach side and fascination for St. Tropez and Brigitte Bardot. The collection is a mix between natural beauty and plexi-sexy girl.”
PA: “The glitter bottoms look like a night out with friends and there is a ’90s element [with] the lucite—maybe a bit disco meets beach.”
Why was the vegan element important to you?
AP: “From the beginning of my label I, introduced leather-free materials each season, but the lining and sole were all still produced in leather. This collection with Pamela allowed me to research the vegan subject more in-depth. The propositions are very, very small; it was a big challenge for me to find breathable lining, for example. I am delighted that this collection received the label ‘Peta Approved.’ I dream of the day I’m able to make my entire brand animal free.”
PA: “There is no reason to take the lives of innocent animals for clothing, food or for entertainment. It is very important to protect every species. The world was not just made for humans. We’ll be sorry when we finally figure it all out and there is nothing left. I want to contribute to the solution.”
In terms of style, do you think there’s a stigma attached to vegan fashion
AP: “For a long time, it was stigmatized as something for ‘hippies’ only. Now it’s not just for ‘boho’ persons, but also the very fashionable population. I think the mentalities are changing step-by-step. Previously, vegan styles were a bit boring or with a cheap image. The thinking you need to have leather to produce a luxury product is over. The future is using new technical materials, which are just as expensive. My ideal would be to one day create my own green, sexy material with the Pamela Anderson Foundation and Pamela herself.”
PA: “If you’re not vegan, you’re old-fashioned. Everyone knows that being vegan is the simplest, most effective way to save the planet. The stigma is on the other foot now. Meat-eating, fur-wearers are out of touch.”
The Amélie Pichard x Pamela Anderson collection is available exclusively at Opening Ceremony